A community nurse may work in both clinical and non-clinical settings. For instance, in a hospital providing ambulatory care, they may play every role associated with the profession. As a clinician, they aim to promote health by applying their therapeutic skills and knowledge, striving to improve the overall community health and eliminate disparities. Thus, the community nurse working in the hospital develops multicultural competence and adheres to principles of holism because they are needed to ensure patient inclusion and consideration of broader environmental factors (such as poverty and crime) in health promotion (Anderson et al., 2015). As an educator, the nurse may instruct patients and other team members, while as a leader and collaborator, they may work with professionals from different disciplines to remove barriers to quality care in at the workplace and the community at large. Additionally, the nurse may research any practice problem in the clinical setting and consequently use the evidence to advocate for change.
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At the same time, in schools, an educator and an advocate are the nurse’s main roles. It means that when working there, the nurse also serves the therapeutic needs of the pediatric population, but mainly focuses on “health promotion, providing health advice… family support, protection, safeguarding, service coordination and multi-agency work” (Hoekstra, Young, Eley, Hawking, & McNulty, 2016, p. 73). For instance, focusing on age-specific health issues, such as teenage obesity and vaccination, the nurse may develop and guide the implementation of school-based community education programs, and advocate for students needs at both the organizational and the community levels.
Anderson, L. M., Adeney, K. L., Shinn, C., Safranek, S., Buckner‐Brown, J., & Krause, L. K. (2015). Community coalition‐driven interventions to reduce health disparities among racial and ethnic minority populations. Web.
Hoekstra, B. A., Young, V. L., Eley, C. V., Hawking, M. K. D., & McNulty, C. A. M. (2016). School Nurses’ perspectives on the role of the school nurse in health education and health promotion in England: A qualitative study. BMC Nursing, 15, 73.